Tag Archives: Technology

[DITL] 5/22/17

6:00 am

Woke up at my usual time. It feels like it should be the end of the year, but we have 3 weeks of school left, so I’ve got to figure out how to motivate myself in order to motivate my students to try through to the end. This week is exam week at my last school, so it would already be the end of the year if we had stayed in New Mexico.

 

7:52 am

Students start coming into class and the morning lesson from admin is to vote on rising 6th and 7th grade students. It does not make a lot of sense for my 8th graders to care about the election, but they care more than I thought the would, so I appreciate their efforts.

 

8:40 am, 1st & 2nd period, planning

We have a diversity training. I already heard this from my “First year teacher” course, though it is new to most of my colleagues. The best time in the 45 minute session is 3 minutes where they ask us to share something meaningful with our colleagues. I wish we could have more time set aside for just that because we can learn so much more from personal stories.

 

10:20 am, 3rd period, Merit 8th Grade Math

The students are unfocused. There are always 5 different conversations going on at once and they are unable to stay quiet for more than 2 minutes at a time to listen to my explanation of what we’re doing today. It’s become my roughest period by far. A few students have their phones out and I struggle to ask them to put them away. After five minutes some of the phones return. I know at least one student is having a bad enough day that he might go off if I take his phone again. I decide to ignore him and his phone this time. [1]

 

In this class we did a “hand squeeze” activity, where students stood in a circle and we timed how long it took them to squeeze each other’s hands all the way around the circle. The goal was to create (in Desmos) a scatterplot with a strong positive linear correlation: the more people in the circle, the longer it should take to go around. Here’s a Desmos graph to go along with some of our data (I couldn’t convince everyone in the class to stand up and be willing to hold hands).

E9v2mI.jpg

11:10 am, 4th period, Honors 8th Grade Math

This used to be one of the class I had the hardest time getting them to focus, but now they’ve done pretty well for the last several months. Phone calls home to this group really help and I’m staying in daily contact home with at least one of the students.

 

In this class we’re doing our end of year stats project. This involves finding two things to compare to each other via a scatterplot and creating a few questions for their classmates to answer.

 

12:00 pm, 5th period, Algebra

My Algebra students took their PARCC test (part 1 of 3) this morning and are taking part 2 in the afternoon. Since this is during their lunch time, they had to have their lunch during 5th period, so they just hung out and ate in my room. One student said “this is the best class of the year!”

 

12:50 pm, Lunch

Three students came into my room for “tutoring”–however, for these three regulars, they just hang out in my room. We got to have a discussion about various topics, such as religion (since they ask), friends, and family.

 

1:23 pm, 6th period, Honors 8th Grade Math

Just as before, we’re doing the stats project. I walk around the room, but this class has a harder time figuring out what they’re doing.

 

2:13 pm, 7th period, 8th Grade Math

This class is not as loud as 3rd period and we get much farther in the “Hand Squeeze” assignment. We just need to discuss the conclusion, but they’re ready to start the next assignment!

 

3:00pm

The end of the day bell rings and I go through my after school routine. Here’s my current checklist:

LCaRpg.jpg

The email addresses are students that I contact daily, blurred out for obvious reasons.

I get to go home about 2 hours after the students are done. Tonight I need to grade Friday’s quizzes, figure out lesson plans for tomorrow’s Merit classes, and sign up students for tutoring who didn’t take the quiz on Friday.

Just 13 more days to go!

 

[1] I ended up making a positive phone call after school. I hope to hold it up to him tomorrow and point out that I could have called about his phone being out, but I want him to succeed. I need to keep trying to build relationships even if we’re in the last 3 weeks of school. This also helps me to feel that I haven’t given up on him: I ignored his lack of effort in class, but didn’t ignore it after school and won’t tolerate more than one day of being angry as an excuse.

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Post-Quiz Discussion

Every Friday I give a quiz [1]. I know some teachers are against that, but it helps establish a routine, students expect it (no more “what, there’s a quiz today?!?”), and it gets my class into a rhythm so I know I need to cut out unnecessary fluff if we’re working too long on one topic[2].

Anyway, I’ve always struggled with what to do after a quiz. Last week I tried something new that I think I’m going to do more often next year. After they turned in their papers, I gave students the quiz on Google Classroom [3]. But this time the whole class is sharing the same quiz. So students who did well on the quiz can jump on and start answer the questions. Students who didn’t do so well can jump on and ask questions (or just watch to see what the answers are… including work shown.) The whole class does a collaborative effort (ideally).

Students seemed to like the idea. I don’t know if it’s the novelty for most of them, but several definitely liked the immediate feedback this offered. Of course we could just go over the quiz, but this is so much more interactive (and immediate). Also, I can keep an eye out for misconceptions that the whole class has on certain topics.

There was some distraction, but fortunately in Google Classroom I can see all edits, so I warned students not to put anything on there that they would be ashamed to show their parents.

2nd Period Chemistry:

4th Period Chemistry:

What do you do in your post-quiz time when students finish at different rates?

[1] Right now this is only in Chemistry, but I’m hoping to do at least some sort of adaptive checkup in Precal and Physics next year.

[2] Some topics take longer, but I hope that the flexibility in adjusting labs allows me to be adaptive and yet rigid at the same time.

[3] If you don’t have Google classroom, you can still share the quiz with students by collecting their e-mail addresses and sharing the document with everyone in the class.

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Augmented Reality and Possibilities

As a Chemistry teacher wanting students to view 3D models of molecules and understanding their VSEPR shapes, there are a handful of options when it comes to this. I’ll list the things I’ve used below:

  1. The free (& open-source) molecule building program Avogadro.  It is great because students can build any molecule and then the program will “optimize” the molecule and students can visualize the atoms pushing to get away from each other while in the bond.
  2. Good old plastic ball-and-stick models. It’s hard to beat getting to put together and pull apart the molecules yourself.  Unfortunately, there are incorrect ways to assemble them, and they’re not much good if I want to put them on an assessment unless the whole class is looking at the same thing at the same time. I love my students, but I only trust them as far as I can throw them, and that’s not very far!
  3. Sketchfab is a free website where you can upload 3D files and students can view them from all angles very easily. I can even embed them into my website, so on a single webpage, students can compare and contrast multiple views (the links are actually to orbital diagrams, but you get the idea).
  4. Perhaps the coolest way to view 3D stuff, that I’ve blogged about before, is using a program simply called Augment. Recently I had some trouble getting to their servers, but the problem turned out to be on our side: our firewall was blocking an essential server for some reason. Once our IT cleared it, it worked perfectly. Since this is the title of the blog, I’ll explain why it’s so cool below.

Last time I used Augment, a little less than a year ago, you would scan a QR code, and then direct the camera at a “marker” where your 3D model would show up. Recently, however, they brilliantly combined these two things so that you can have “custom markers”.[1] That means that you point your iPad’s camera (from withing the Augment app) at the “background” and then the model will automatically begin uploading and then show up right where you’re pointing it once it’s uploaded.

Here’s a student demonstrating that:

If you’re not in education, I’m not sure what kinds of limitations Augment puts on how many you can have, but they were very kind to me once they found out that I am a teacher and now I’m pretty sure I have the ability to make more custom markers than I’ll ever fill up. What’s great about this is that the markers don’t give away to the students which molecule is which. That makes cheating much more difficult, in addition to “memorizing answers” or other such nonsense as that. Just check out my quizzes below:

The 4 images you see represent 4 different molecules for the students to examine. If you’ve got a device and have the Augmented app downloaded, go ahead and scan them: they should work for you. Now here’s another version of a quiz on the same topic.

It’s very easy to make different quizzes simply by rearranging the images.

Here’s a student demonstrating scanning the quiz.

Other Notes

The images were taken from Creative Commons (perhaps the only legal thing I’ve done all year…), so feel free to take them and use them. Yes, they’re the same few images rearranged, and yes, the Augment app recognizes their different arrangement, so it produces a different 3D image for each. The images are originally in color, and I believe that it would help the Augment app if the images were in color, but like most teachers, I don’t have (easy) access to a color printer (nor would I want to make 80 color copies for a final exam).  Fortunately, the scanner still worked very well on black and white copies, but you should be careful about a few things:

  • Don’t make the copies too small. Then your print quality would be too low and it is harder for the app to pickup the right information.
  • Be careful about copying copies of copies. As a teacher, you probably know this reduces the quality of the images each step it is copied. If possible, simply print and don’t copy (fortunately our xerox doubles as a printer, and apparently uses the same resources either way!).
  • Make sure to test it out before you make 100 copies and especially before you hand it out to students. (Is that one too obvious?)
  • If you’re making your own, choose more complex images, as it gives the Augmented app more information to use when trying to pick up an image. No, you can’t use a QR code as your marker cause those squares stand for something else.

Perhaps one of the best things about this is that I don’t feel that I’m “using technology for technology’s sake.” The students grab the iPads, which they’re used to, and simply open the app, click “scan”, and point.  Within a total of 10-20 seconds, they’re viewing multiple 3D images, something which would take longer, whether using laptop/desktop computers or even just the physical models. This is definitely a case where the technology has improved the educational experience: both with the “wow” factor and the ease of accessibility by the students. Below are the 5 custom trackers I made for viewing VSEPR shapes. Feel free to use them! tracker_1 tracker_2 tracker_3 tracker_4 tracker_5

[1] The Augment team has wonderful customer service, and they were very generous with their time and in helping me figure out what was best for my students.

 

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The Day the Scaffolding Fell Apart (and Got Put Back Together)

The Setting

Being in only my 3rd year teaching at this school, my principal still wants to do semester observations on us “newbie teachers”, and so I decide I’m going to show him another 3 Acts lesson since the first one went so well. (Side note: this is not a nervous or bad experience for me, not because I think I’m an awesome teacher or anything like that, but because our principal is so approachable and dedicated to helping us teachers grow. He’s “on our side”.)

The Lesson

In Precalculus, we’re still getting used to (read: remembering) different functions and their various representations. After much debate with myself, I decided to use Dan Meyer’s “Will It Go In The Hoop”, where he shoots a basketball, freezes it halfway and asks the students to predict.

I’m learning how to better “hook” students, and this time I did it by record a simple “yes” or “no” next to each student’s name after asking them “Do you think the basketball will go in the hoop?”  Takes 30 seconds, engages them for the rest of the lesson–at least the first leg of the lesson.

I then put Dan’s Geogebra applet, complete with the picture of the ball, sliders, and parabola (he did all this), onto my website for students to access. Geogebratube wasn’t working the night before for me, so I didn’t want to take chances and actually had them download the .ggb file.  The downside is that it’s a few small steps to use that on the Chromebooks. Fortunately, Geogebra has a Chrome applet, so (1) the had to install Geogebra on their Google account, (2) download the .ggb file from my website, (3) open Geogebra (not just click on the file like they’re so used to), and then (4) go to “file–>open–>open”.  Not very many steps for any competent computer user, but as we all know, most teenagers are woefully incapable when using the computer doesn’t involve Facebook or Youtube.

Crash & Burn

So they open the file, and of course they’re all moving at different speeds: some figured out what the sliders do right away.  If you’re wondering, the variables in this particular applet are a, h, and k in the equation y=a(x-h)^2+k.  I decided I would remind them of parabolas & equations at the same time as teaching them to use Geogebra.

That was my first mistake.

The first two .ggb files had sliders already built, but I actually deleted Dan’s work so they only had the picture because I wanted them to want (and then create) the sliders and not just take them for granted. They need to understand what they do and why they’re so nice and helpful.  However, we ran into a few “speed-bumps”. (Hitting speed-bumps when travelling 60 mph isn’t smart, btw.)

  • Creating and using sliders is much tougher in the Chrome applet than with the desktop version. For one thing, I never figured out how to edit the max and min on the slider unless you create a new one.
  • Having to click the “mouse” button on Geogebra always throws students for a loop (although these were doing better than in the past).
  • Students’ understanding of variables is tentative at best, so connecting the slider to the equation via a variable almost always had to be explained explicitly (“Type in exactly what I tell you…”)
  • Even I find using a mouse much easier than a track-pad, especially if there’s no clear button to click outside of the touch-pad. Clicking and dragging items are trickier.
  • The screens on the Chromebooks are just a tad smaller than it seems the applet was created for, so they had to shift and zoom the sheet to see the equation, the picture, and all the lines.
  • One girl at the front became very flustered and frustrated with herself and her computer, which can quickly change the dynamic of the whole class.

I felt the class slipping away from where I had them when I recorded their guesses. We managed to get through two of the shooting videos fine, but when I took away the slider, they became “disengaged”.  I guess I should have known it was their first time using Geogebra as I’m the only teacher in the school to use it.  I just need to give them a better intro than one where they crash & burn so they come to appreciate how easy it can make things.

It really felt like I had pulled too much out from under them and they were collapsing under all that they were required to do. This is one of those cases where the technology was becoming a hindrance rather than supporting more dialogue and investigation.  On the one hand, giving them sliders felt like making it too easy for them. Yet taking away that simple tool made it much more difficult.  I’ll need to try to tread the line between challenging/engaging and frustratingly, pointlessly complex.

The Putting Back Together

I should have pulled these out sooner as a “recap” to help the students bring together their thoughts, but in the excitement, I honestly forgot about them at first.  (Fortunately in my 2nd precal class of the day, I corrected my error and they got this as a summary immediately). I attended a conference where I learned about these “Link” sheets.  This is excellent because it brings together four representations of a function: in this case (1) equation, (2) verbal description, (3) table, and (4) graph.  Sometimes I fill in some parts and they fill in others, but for this I wanted them to take their Geogebra & the video and put it onto the sheet. Here’s a word version (LINK-Blank Linear v 2)  if you’d like to edit it.

After all that technology, I think some students were honestly relieved to have a piece of paper in front of them that they could write on. This helped them to see what the goal of this activity was in the first place.  We’re still not to the point where they understand how to translate any given function, but we’re more used to seeing functions and connecting equations, graphs, tables, and verbal descriptions, which is not a bad block period. The afternoon went better, mostly because I never took the sliders away from that group.

My Analysis

I think I need to do a better job of deciding what I want the students to get out of my 3 Act lessons. I’m trying to remain flexible and “go where the students want to go” in case they mention some great ideas, but I also need to have a plan and something in mind that I want them to learn, rather than just generic “understand & play with functions”. That’s on me.  More planning than I am sometimes motivated to do, if I’m being honest.

And of course there’s also the technology aspect.  I am fairly comfortable with new technology (I find installing operating systems and customizing them fun, for example), so it is very difficult for me to understand how little technology some of my students understand. (One unfortunate girl started at me questioningly when I asked her to “reload” the current web page. My mind was blown, and not in a good way.)  Somehow I became good at being patient with them when they don’t understand math, but I get much more frustrated and tired when they are so slow with technology. Perhaps it’s because I’m not expecting it: they grow up with technology all around them, but they can’t transfer it, mostly (I suspect) because they don’t want to as badly. Figuring out how to find the most popular Youtube video is more essential to their lives than figuring out how to open a file through a program other than the browser you just used to downloaded the file. Ugh. Well maybe next time I’ll be more mentally prepared.

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Student Blogs: Update

I don’t have much time tonight, but I wanted to give a quick update as for how the student blogs are going.

Edit: Oh yeah, mad props to Jim Pai for suggesting Kid Blog.  Already it’s come in handy because 2 students have forgotten passwords and it’s so easy to reset their passwords for them in that program.

Some of the students are really taking these and running with them!  Others (as expected) find the activity dull and pointless.  I’m requiring that they blog for 1 week to try it out.  After that, they may continue to do so for Participation Points, and I think many will continue to do that.

Also, I wanted to mention at how fast I’m able to “grade” these!  I just type the points awarded in the comments, so they can see, and then I also type it into a Google Spreadsheet that I’ve shared with the students so they can see their running totals.  I can skim a blog pretty quickly now and decide if it’s worth 5, 10, or 20 points (the 20 points are saved for students who really blow me away with their insight and reflection).

Some of the students are really doing a great job reflecting, but I thought I’d let the blogs speak for themselves, so here are just a few of the better daily posts from my students.  Enjoy!

It today’s class we started of with a race that I did horrible in. The questions were about probability and for some reason I messed up on a lot of them. One question that I did get right(thanks to Benita and Chad) was – In poker, you dealt a 5 cards out of 52. How many different ways can 5 cards be dealt out of the 52.( I hope I worded that right.) We solved This question by realizing it is a combination because order didn’t matter. So in our calculator we typed in 52C5. The answer was 2598960. After the race we took a class quiz, which really helped because Mr. Newman explained how to do each problem. I wish Newman would do this more often!!

After the class quiz we took 9.6 Properties of Probability notes. We learned intersection of events- If A and B are events, then the intersection of A and B, is the set of all outcomes in event A AND B. Newman also explained union events- if A and B are two events then th union of A and B is the set of all outcomes in event A OR event B… At first I had no idea what Newman was talking about, but then he used a ven-diagram to help us. For intersection of events everything in the middle of the diagram would be an example. Union of events is everything inside and outside of the diagram.

Think of it like this…

Intersection of Events- Suppose you draw 2 cards for a 52 card deck without replacing. What is the probability that both cards will be black?(looking for the intersection of the 1st card black AND the 2nd card black.)

P(black AND black)= 26(black)/52(total cards) * 25(26-1)/51(52-1)= 25/102

Union of Evnts- Suppose a bag contains 7 chocolate chip cookies, 11 macadamia nut cookies, 12 oatmeal cookies, 4 gingersnap cookies, and 9 oatmeal-chocolate cookies. if you select 1 cookie at random, what is the probability it will contain oatmeal OR chocolate?

Oatmeal-12

Chocolate-7

Oatmeal and Chocolate-9   <= 28

28/43(total cookies)= 65%

What about ginger or macadamia?

Gingersnaps-4

Macadamia-11  <= 15

15/43(total)= 34.8%

These were the examples that helped me the most through this class!

Yes, that was all one post.  Some students decided to go a more humorous route:

Today in Pre-Calculus we first set up these oh-so-beautiful blogs and learned how touse them, though I had to figure out how to insert pictures on my own. (How? I’ll never tell!) After that we ventured to a wild and educational acivity in which we created propability related problems for each other and answer them, therefore cleverly shortening the workload of a certain professor that shall be called Mr. Jim to protect the lives of the innocent. I found heiroglyphics as the best method of conveying my questions, but it seems that my colleagues, especially Mr. Haha, have a difficult time appreciating the sentiment. In any curcumstance, good examples for questions that we made are, “Is this specific orientation of cars a permutation or a combination?” And “What is the propability of choosing any specific 4-card hand out of a normal deck of 52 cards?” The former is a permutation and the latter is 52 nCr 4. I greatly hope that I will be able to grasp the concepts that have grown fuzzy from distance as clearly as I had weeks ago, but for now I must say farewell. Untill next time.
The Cryptographer

Some students decided it was best to simply take a photo of their notes (love the calculator in the image!).  I’m cool with that!

Screenshot from 2013-04-11 22:38:38

Others decided to be a little more creative and less practical:

APRIL 8, 2013

Location: Disclosed

Time: Forgot

Today we reflected back on the the different properties of mass and types of equations we can use to figure out a problem. An example of a equation was PV=nRT. How we reflected, We first got iPad’s and went to a app labeled “Student”. In here we typed the class code and waited. Newman would then put a question on the board for us to respond with the iPad  our answers would then at the same time go into an infinite matrix were data is stored. In this matrix we could see what all others responded with and can “Vote” which one is better, funny, or even CORRECT! And because I forgot my glasses at home, limited me from see and knowing which one was actually correct. The questions Mr. Newman posted was something like “Name the properties of mass”, Something like that. And it would be Volume, Pressure, Number and something else that I can not remeber right now. also a word problem that made us use a equation (PV=nRT) to  find out. Yup! That was mainly it for today, Not much happened except Shannon wasn’t here and has my headphones… :( But today was a good Day! (Minus the wind….and the suffering that came with it. Also track practice…..and Advance PE. But the wind… oh the wind. *Slowly Dramatic Music* Lunch was Fun! :D

Or other creativity:

If there was a theme to today, it would be reviewing. Almost like preparing for a battle. But although not everyone studied for the test, I did. Some of this stuff was a little bit of a blur, and some of it was a breeze. If there was one thing that I could not fully grasp, it would be Intermolecular Forces. That may have been the only thing I did not fully understand. But after a lot of reading (and re-reading) I sorta got the basics of it. Like Dipole Forces is when a partial positive and partial negative charge attract between molecules. And a London Dispersion when a electron group closes together and causes a partial charge. It took awhile to understand this but I got it now. Along with reviewing for the test, I was asked by my fellow peers for assistance. Ms. [Edited out] and Ms. [Edited out] both asked me to assist them with correcting their old Gas Laws Quiz. It was more of a review and correction session. Now that I look at it, I regret not signing up for tutor. But in the end, they learned a thing or two and so did I. I think I am ready for the test tomorrow, but who knows.

Until Next Time, Martza Out!

So I think that, for at least some students, it’s a really good experience.  I let the creative ones know that I enjoy their creativity, but that they still need more substance.  Also, I’m still giving them plenty of time in class to do this, so I hope that as I decrease that time in class, many of them continue to do this at home.

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Daily Student Blog Reflections: I’m Learning, Can They?

My Observation

I have learned SO much this year from blogging and (especially) from reading blogs.  Well, if I’ve learned so much through this specific kind of reflection, shouldn’t my students be able to learn from it?  I’ve seen websites that mention blogging for students, but I never really considered what the students should blog about that would be worthwhile, especially in math.

My Problem

One thing I’m really bad about are “summary activities”.  My previous AP explained to me that if students’ minds are like boxes, then ticket-outs (or some other summary activity) at the end of the period are the keys which “lock the box and keep the information inside”.  I’m not so sure about the metaphor, but I do know that if I could encourage students to reflect and/or think about the lesson in its entirety at the end of each period, their recall ability the next day would most likely increase.

A Solution

So why not kill 2 birds with one stone?  Have students reflect AND think about the entire lesson through blogging?  Right now my tentative plan, when we return from spring break, is to have students get the iPads the last 5 minutes of class (we’ll begin with the last 10 minutes until they get the hang of blogging–oh, and I’ll have to give them class time Monday to set up their blogs).

Initially, I put this idea into the filing cabinet of “going to try next year”, but that’s getting over-stuffed, and I think students this year could benefit right away.  One comment I received back was “create more opportunities for Participation Points“.  I guarantee that students will complain “it’s not worth it!” for the amount of points I’ll give them, but they just want my class to be easier and I’m not going to give in to that silly nonsense.

My Example

I quickly created an example blog using blogger and my Google account (to make sure this is something that can be done quickly), and I created a series of posts where I gave examples of differing quality posts.  Because posting simply accumulates PPs for the students, they have the freedom to choose the frequency and the quality of their posts.  I’ll require them blog for one week so they can see how fast and easy it will be to accumulate PPs this way, however, students will still have the chance to decide what they want to do long-term.  Here’s the blog that took me 5 minutes to create (but then about an hour to come up with the examples)

Which Blogging Software?

Blogger was fast and easy to setup on the iPad.  Edublog looks nice, but when I tried creating a blog on the iPad, it wouldn’t pass the “prove you’re not a robot test” because the Edublog app and Safari weren’t communicating well.  Wordpress.com also has a nice app, but it looks more built for professional bloggers, and I really just want my students to get their feet wet.  One last option is for students to use the blogging software that is built into their Weebly websites, which they are using for their Senior Portfolios at our school; however, I don’t want them to confuse their Senior Portfolio with their math class blog, but I think I will offer that as an option for some of the students.  I won’t really care to monitor these blogs in the sense that I need to have editing authority over them–I simply need a fast way of checking for recent posts, which I can do using e-mail subscription and my “throw-away” e-mail account.

Are there any other suggestions for blogging software out there?

Other Positives

One other thing I thought of as I was doing this, was I should get fewer “what did we do the day I was absent?” since students will be able to access each other’s blogs through my website.

If students want to study for tests, they can always go back to the blogs, which in many cases might (fingers crossed) be better than their notes.

If you’ve had students keep a blog in your math or science class, please let me know about it so that I can check them out and get more ideas (or be aware of possible pitfalls!).

Here’s my teacher website’s introduction of the blogging idea to my students.  We’ll see how many bite!

Oh, and I think I’m going to require that they use the word “Adventure” or some synonym in the title of their blog.  Perhaps this will help them realize that this is what they should be on in math class: an Adventure!

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Augmented Reality Apps — How Can Educators Use Them?

Last semester, I discovered the world of Augmented Reality Apps.  If you want to see what these are, go to my other posts where I have links to a handful of these apps for iPads/iPhones and pictures & videos of students using them in the classroom.  Basically, they are apps where you can observe a 3-D object by using the camera on the iDevice and looking at a marker (usually a sheet of paper).  You can see the object from various angles by moving your iDevice around and, in some cases, even interact with the objects!

As soon as I saw this, I became too excited to go to sleep that night.  My wife just laughed at my childish excitement, but my mind began moving to all the possibilities this technology holds for people in the future.  Just imagine the possibilities:

  1. Movie theaters where the movies are full-immersion experiences.  You have a device (or better yet, glasses) where you can focus on the action, but can also look side to side and see what else is going on around your other favorite characters.
  2. Video games where you can look at a map and see, in real (augmented) 3-D where things are.
  3. Art galleries where you can observe famous works of art without the hassle of moving the art or the worry of them being stolen.
  4. The Augmented Reality company is advertising their app as a way to view furnature and other home remodeling before making the leap to purchase the product.
  5. With the new wave of (relatively) cheap 3D printers (which I reeeeeeally, reeeeeeeally want), you could examine your object before wasting the precious “ink” producing the 3D object.
  6. You can make any building in the world look like it was remodeled by Disney for some big celebration.
  7. You can make portals to other secret worlds.

There were dozens of other ideas that I thought about, but can’t remember at the moment.  However, you’ll notice that of all the things above, none of them are easily lifted to go into the classroom.  Sure, we can force this technology into the classroom, and use it for things that could have just as easily been accomplished without augmented reality.  But there have got to be things that we can now do in the classroom that couldn’t have been done without it.  Just look at the list above!   There’s GOT to be some way to significantly improve students’ interaction with concepts that couldn’t be done without augmented reality, and I want to explore that.

If you have ideas, please, please comment below.  I think that of the math classes, Geometry stands the best chance of using this immediately (when exploring 3D solids) just because it’s the most obvious connection.  To that end, I had started making your basic 3D shapes for the Augmented Reality app in hopes that some geometry teacher would come along and want to try this out, but I didn’t get very far and ran out of time.  If you’d like for me to keep making them, please let me know and I’d be happy to finish them!

To me, this seems like a whole new frontier when it comes to human interaction with computing.  Perhaps that’s why Google is taking their time with Google Glass–they want it to be big in the way that the iPhone was when it first came out: it changed the face of computing and the way a significant number of people interact with computers for a significant amount of the time.  The possibilities are out there and I really want education to be on the front of this wave rather than 10 years behind the curve as it has been in the past when it comes to technology.

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